Fig 65 Fig. 65.—The Topers. By Velasquez.

The character of Velasquez was a rare combination of freedom from jealousy, power to conciliate, sweetness of temper, strength of will and intellect, and steadfastness of purpose. He was the friend of Rubens and of Ribera, the protector of Cano and Murillo, who succeeded and were, next to him, the greatest painters of Spain. As the favorite of Philip IV., in fact, his minister for artistic affairs, he filled his office with purity and disinterestedness.

Juan de Pareja (1610-1670) was born in Spanish South America. He was never a great artist; but the circumstances of his life make him interesting. He was the slave of Velasquez, and was employed as color-grinder. He studied painting secretly, and at last, on an occasion when the king visited the studio of his master, Pareja showed him a picture of his own painting, and throwing himself at Philip’s feet begged pardon for his audacity. Both Philip and Velasquez treated him very kindly. Velasquez gave Pareja his freedom; but it is said that he continued to serve his old master faithfully as long as he lived. Pareja succeeded best as a portrait painter. His works are not numerous, and are seen in few collections out of Spain.